Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Fantastical and Felicitous Fictional Character Blog Tag

I was very kindly tagged for this by The Maidens of Green Gables. Thank you, ladies, I enjoyed it immensely! My nominees at the bottom of the list.

Here are your rules as set out by the originator of the tag, Emily of The Altogether Unexpected blog.

  • Answer every question honestly. (duh.)
  • Use as many gifs and images as possible.
  • Incorporate at least one YouTube video with a favorite scene of a character.
  • NO VAGUE ANSWERS ALLOWED. Explain why you chose that favorite character to fit that description. I love details, my friends.
  • If you can’t choose just one, that’s okay – give us a few answers and geek out if that’s what it takes.
  • Tag at least 3 people.
  • Use fictional characters from any fictional story.
  • If you get nominated and/or decide to participate in this tag, please put a link back to this post in your post and credit Emily of The Altogether Unexpected blog as the creator.
  • Have fun and obsess over fictional characters!

Goody-two-shoes: A character who was just so morally good (ELINOR DASHWOOD, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY)

Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility, both Jane Austen's novel and any of the films.

She is so insanely, painfully self-sacrificing. She is a woman who knows the limits of her family's finances, takes care of her mother and younger sister when they have melt-downs, and denies to herself her true love because he is engaged to another woman.

She will never push to take something for herself if it means harming someone else, and she even becomes an unselfish confidante to the fiance of the man she loves. It's a wonder she had a happy ending, but after going through all of her restraint where Edward is concerned, she deserved one and I'm so happy that Austen gave it to her. Elinor is so strong and so loving, one of my favorite of Austen's heroines alongside Anne Elliot and Catherine Morland.

Heartbreaker: A character who made you cry (NEWT, THE MAZE RUNNER)

Newt in The Maze Runner film series played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster. Newt might just be one of my favorite fictional characters of all time.

Sorry, folks, but there are some spoilers here. There was no way to avoid them.

The Maze Runner series is about a dystopian world where a disease has wiped out most of the adult population and their only hope in finding a cure is to put kids/teens who seem more resistant to the disease through a series of extreme tests. Newt is one of these teens.

Newt has a strong, yet highly forgiving nature. He's a leader in that as a follower of other leaders he makes wise choices in who he will follow. When there's a schism of leadership among the group of boys he's a part of, Newt takes the harder road by following new leadership. His choices lend strength to others who also choose to follow new leadership because Newt led the way. It turns out he was right.

In The Death Cure, the audience is subjected to watching Newt slowly deteriorate because he's been exposed to the disease. It's one of the hardest half hours I've ever subjected myself to and I will never forget the floods of tears I experienced BOTH TIMES I saw The Death Cure in the theater. Newt is such a selfless character at the end of his journey, definitely in keeping with who we know him to be, but also in ways that require superhuman strength to put his own wellbeing aside and fight for the safety and wellbeing of others. That fight he has with Thomas (leader and best friend) at the end BROKE MY HEART.

I was an absolute mess. And I still have a necklace with Newt's name on it as a reminder of that brilliant performance by Thomas Brodie-Sangster. It probably helps that he's British since I'm a sucker for British actors, always have been.

Ironically this video does not have Newt in it. But it is his voice narrating a letter he wrote to Thomas, his best friend, and is one of my favorite scenes. It does contain spoilers since it's at the very end of the last movie so if you've never watched the series and think you someday might, you may want to skip watching this now.

Parrot: A character who won’t stop talking (HYACINTH BUCKET, KEEPING UP APPEARANCES)

Hands' down, it is Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet according to her) from the 1990s British television program Keeping Up Appearances.

Hyacinth never lets anyone else get a word in edgewise under any circumstances because everything she has to say is so important and nothing anyone else says is of any importance at all.

There's a scene in, I think, the 5th season where her husband, Richard, is going to take her to a country house sale (like an estate sale), and he's saying one thing in a panic and she repeats it right back to him with excitement as if he never spoke.

Richard: Somehow you think that if something has been owned by the aristocracy then it must be worth twice as much.

Hyacinth: You know, I think that if something has been owned by the aristocracy then it must be worth twice as much!

She's hilarious and obnoxious and it's one of my favorite sitcoms.

Devilish: Your favorite villain (FRANK LANGELLA AS DRACULA)

Frank Langella as Dracula in the 1979 film.

Yes, I'm being this specific because Langella's performance was all about sensuous magnetism. He took a somewhat cheesy, corny role and turned it into a desirable one. It helps that the casting choice for their Jonathan Harker made the so-called hero the least likable man on the planet. Compared with Jonathan, Dracula was a saint. He has this polite demeanor that is actually genuine where women are concerned. He's gentle and respectable and very, very Victorian, unlike Jonathan who likes to push the boundaries and is a jealous, pompous jerk.

Here's a really lovely music video from Dracula 1979. It has some sensuality, but no nudity.

Love interest: A character who, if alive in reality, you would want to marry (PEETA MELLARK, THE HUNGER GAMES)

Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games trilogy.

He's stable and steadfast. It's hard in the books because they're just from Katniss' perspective, and so we see Peeta through her eyes, just like with Harry Potter and Snape.

What I see when I look at Peeta is someone who risked a beating from his mother to give away some bread to a girl he barely knew but who he could see was starving. He's also a person who knew he needed to adapt to stand even a chance of survival in the Hunger Games and did it, all without losing his soul. He's a charmer and people can't help but like him, the complete antithesis of Katniss. Peeta stays himself except for the intense cruelty of Mockingjay where he's been brainwashed to see Katniss as an enemy.

He's deeply sacrificial, gentle, and gives of himself completely to Katniss. His love for her was real long before hers for him ever began to blossom, but he waited her out. Peeta is a beautiful, radiant character in both the books and the films, and he would make any woman a worthy, safe, steadfast husband.

Sidekick: A character who was always loyal no matter what (ARTHUR HASTINGS, AGATHA CHRISTIE'S POIROT)

Arthur Hastings, sidekick to Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot in the best-kept traditions of being Watson to Sherlock Holmes.

I've yet to read a Poirot novel, but I have watched the David Suchet miniseries countless times and I hear that it's fairly close to Christie's creation.

Hastings is a sweet man, always upbeat and positive, always ready for a lark and an adventure. He thinks of his friends first, which is usually more than can be said of Poirot, Lord love 'im. Hastings is the one who will never ever crack the case wide open, but he is the one who will chase the criminal down, run errands, file paperwork if Poirot's secretary Miss Lemon is out of town, and just be a supportive presence to the great and magnificently pompous, Hercule Poirot.

He's also never afraid to speak his mind, and if he thinks that Poirot is being absurdly prideful, he will actually speak up. Like in The Mystery of the Spanish Chest when Poirot is being particularly puffed up and not at all humble, and Hastings tries to remind him that humility is a virtue.

Which of course, backfires just a smidge when Poirot lets a compliment slide off his back and Hastings praises him for his restraint.

Poirot: I am learning, Hastings. It is more English, yes, the humbleness? So, I am learning. I shall be the most humble person in the world. No one will match Hercule Poirot for his humbility.

Hastings is an excellent companion and an unfailing support to Hercule Poirot.

Complicated: A character you love and hate (SEVERUS SNAPE)

Severus Snape, books or films, it doesn't matter.

He's clearly on the side of right after Lily Potter's murder, works with Dumbledore, and does all the right things, including trying to save Harry's life in The Philosopher's Stone when Professor Quirrell is trying to kill Harry on the Quidditch field. 

But he's such a JERK about almost everything! He's cold and cruel and underhanded in a very childish way towards Harry and his friends.

BUT, I also know that we see Snape through Harry's not-so-clear glasses. Harry, bless 'im, is an unreliable narrator, so we, the reader, have no idea what Snape is truly like. All we know is that, according to Harry, he's hateworthy, only I never truly hated him.

If you want more of my thoughts regarding Severus Snape, you can read my In Defense of Severus Snape blog post. 

Oddity: A character who was strange, but you loved them that way (ODD THOMAS)

This would have to be Odd Thomas, both the book character by Dean Koontz and the film character portrayed by Anton Yelchin before his untimely death (rip).

Odd (that's his first name) sees ghosts. And they see him. He even had the ghost of Elvis wandering around him for a while. The ghosts don't speak, but they usually have some unfinished business they want Odd to assist them with. He's a very kind-hearted, gentle soul, compassionate and sweet. I only read the first 2 books in the series, but I love him. Anton did a great job portraying him in a movie that didn't quite do the story of the first book justice, but is a better adaptation than quite a few of Koontz's book to film tales.

Queen/King: A female/male character who you admire and aspire to emulate

Sara Crewe from Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess, a book I absolutely adore.

This child is remarkable.

Born into privilege, cast down to the lowliest of the lows through circumstance, spit upon, abused, and despised by those around her, and yet her imagination and hopeful spirit are indomitable. She takes on so much more abuse than anyone should have to handle and she does so with a gracious spirit. She is a princess, yes, but only because all girls are princesses. Because you see, princesses care for the weak and see their value.

My favorite film version is from 1995 which I think they got maybe 90% right, and what they did change, like allowing Sara's father to live, I can completely support. The story is beautiful and heartbreaking and Sara shines as an example of mercy and compassion and loving one's neighbor, reminding me of who I should try to be.

Savior: A character who oddly reminds you of Christ (P. T. BARNUM, THE GREATEST SHOWMAN)

P. T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman! Now, yes, he was a real man, but as I understand it, about 20% of this movie is actually true, so it's pretty much fiction, which is why I'm using him.

I know, I know, it sounds crazy (and if it's crazy, live a little crazy), but from the very first moment, he reminded me of Christ. There's this spark of magnetism about him, this call to people to follow him, that he wants to offer them a better life free of the shadows plaguing them.

I mean, come on, just the lyrics to Come Alive are a call to living fully, stepping out of the darkness and into the light and never looking back at who we were before!

Come alive, come alive

Go and light your light

Let it burn so bright

Reaching up

To the sky

And it's open wide

You're electrified

When the world becomes a fantasy

And you're more than you could ever be

'Cause you're dreaming with your eyes wide open

And you know you can't go back agin

To the world that you were living in

'Cause you're dreaming with your eyes wide open

So come alive!

Then there's The Other Side with Barnum and Carlyle. It was another mind-blowing moment of Christ calling followers to find freedom, break out of their cages, and follow Him because his burden is so much lighter.

I'm sure the writers for The Greatest Showman never imagined the comparison, but it shines so brightly to me. Barnum reaches out to the unlovely of society, the unloved, and he takes them in and gives them hope and a future. Of course, the comparison ends at some point because Barnum loses his way for a bit, but still, the message is there.

I nominate the following folks (and anyone else who wants to participate:

 Here are the prompts again if you want to participate:

  • Goody-two-shoes: A character who was just so morally good
  • Heartbreaker: A character who made you cry
  • Parrot: A character who won’t stop talking
  • Devilish: Your favorite villain
  • Love interest: A character who, if alive in reality, you would want to marry
  • Sidekick: A character who was always loyal no matter what
  • Complicated: A character you love and hate
  • Oddity: A character who was strange, but you loved them that way
  • Queen/King: A female/male character who you admire and aspire to emulate
  • Savior: A character who oddly reminds you of Christ

8 yorum:

  1. Wonderful answers Carissa! Your thoughts on P.T Barnum are very intriguing; I'd never thought about him like that!

    1. It was a very fun tag to answer. I enjoyed it! Yeah, I know, my thoughts on P. T. Barnum are out of the ordinary. It's funny that he always struck me this way, right from the beginning, the very first time I watched the film. It's such a great movie, I love it so much!

    2. I'm finally getting around to reading your post! My favorites were Elanor, Sara Crewe, and P.T. Barnum! Elanor's character really is an admirable one. I adore A Little Princess too! I've never seen the movie version you mentioned (I'll have to check it out sometime), but I love the book!
      I think that's a neat observation about The Greatest Showman being comparable to Christ's character; I can definitely see the connection.

  2. These were all excellent choices! I agree with especially about Peeta, he was wonderful throughout the whole series.

    1. Peeta is truly marvelous. He's so steadfast and faithful, I just love that about him.

  3. Lovely answers! I am definitely a Snape fan, and right there with you on that whole answer.

    I'd never considered Hugh Jackman's version of P.T. Barnum from that angle, but it definitely works!

    1. My thoughts on Barnum are definitely different. But I love how that's how he impacted and impressed me from the very beginning, that wooing of the Lord to something greater and truly exciting.

  4. I don't know a lot of these characters, but what you said about Elinor Dashwood, Snape, and P. T. Barnum is excellent! I hadn't thought of P. T. like that, but it fits so well. Bravo!


Thank you for your kind comments, which I adore!